Guru Nanak Jayanti or Gurpurab is one of the sacred festivals celebrated by the Sikh communities around the world. This year Gurpurab is falling on November 23 and this day marks the birth of Guru Nanak, the first Sikh Guru. Born on April 15, 1469, in Rai-Bhoi-di Talwandi (Now in Pakistan; Nanakana Sahib) is the founder of Sikhism. He is known as one of the greatest religious innovators of all times. He travelled across the world to spread the message of peace, and teachings of God.
As per the beliefs, almighty dwells in every one of his creations and constitutes the eternal truth. He had set up various spiritual social and political platforms based on equality, goodness, and virtue. His teachings are registered in the form of 974 hymns in the holy texts of the Guru Granth Sahib. According to the beliefs of Sikh religion, it is believed that the spirit of Nanak Dev descended upon each of the nine subsequent Gurus.
According to the lunar calendar, Guru Nanak’s birthday is celebrated on full moon day of Kartik month or Kartik Poornima. Baba Guru Nanak Dev, the first guru of Sikhs, holds the highest position among the 10 gurus worshipped by the community. Guru Nanak was the first of the 10 Sikh Gurus.
Who was Guru Nanak:
He married at the age of 19 and had two sons, however, due to his lack of interest in worldly affairs, he drifted towards the spiritual world and at the age of 30, he visited various holy places to gain knowledge. He also tried different professions like agriculture, cattle-tending, and shop-keeping but failed to succeed. As per the Sikh traditions, the early years of Nanak Dev’s life were marked with various events that portrayed that he has been marked by divine grace.
The birth of Guru Nanak, who taught the message of one god and established a unique social and spiritual platform based on truth, love, equality and morality, is celebrated with great fervor by people of Sikh community across the world. The celebration is similar to the festivities around anniversaries of other Sikh gurus and includes hymns and prayers. The festivities start two days before Guru Nanak Jayanti with a nonstop reading of the holy book, Guru Granth Sahib, in the Gurudwaras for 48 hours and it is called Akhand Path. Nagarkirtan, a procession is organised on the day prior to the Jayanti. The Panj Pyaras lead this procession carrying the Palanquin of the holy book Guru Granth Sahib and the Nishan Sahib, which is the Sikh flag. During the procession, people sing devotional songs and hymns. Mock battles and martial arts using traditional weapons are displayed by the Gatka teams. This procession spreads the Guru Nanak’s teachings and message.
On the day of Guru Nanak Jayanti, the celebration begins as early as 4 am with Prabhat Pheris, which is the morning procession. The processions start from Gurudwaras. The Gurudwaras are decorated with lights and flowers on this day. People sing morning hymns and read out Sikh scriptures. This is followed by a special community lunch called as the Langar. These langars are organised by the Gurudwaras and usually volunteers help in the preparation of the lunch. Everyone, irrespective of class, caste or creed, is welcome for the langar. In some Gurdwaras, evening and night prayers are recited. The celebration ends with singing Gurbani at about 2 am. Although Guru Nanak Jayanti is celebrated across the globe by the Sikh community, the celebration is more beautiful in Chandigarh, Haryana and Punjab.
Happy Guru Nanak Jayanti 2018!